If Donald Trump wins reelection in November the U.S. faces the very real threat of a racist, misogynist and deadly dystopia.
That’s the rather dire warning from Dr. Judith L. Herman, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a renowned expert on the traumas of interpersonal violence. Herman is one of the authors of “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.”
Those experts considered a number of possible explanations for Trump’s behavior and performance as president:
“Is he a malignant narcissist? A sociopath? Is he psychotic? Cognitively impaired? Is he “crazy like a fox” or just plain crazy, i.e., when he lies constantly, does he know he’s lying, or does he believe his own lies? When he makes wild accusations and promotes conspiracy theories of the far right, is he truly paranoid, or is he consciously manipulating the media?”
Herman’s conclusion is that the answer might be “yes” to all of the above. She adds that while it may not be possible to diagnose Trump’s true state of mind, it is possible to make a professional assessment of his dangerousness. As her co-author, the forensic psychiatrist James Gilligan, an expert on violent offenders, explained: “If we are silent about the numerous ways in which Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened violence, incited violence, or boasted about his own violence, we are passively supporting and enabling the … naïve mistake of treating him as if he is a ‘normal’ president…. He is not, and it is our duty to say so … He is unprecedentedly and abnormally dangerous.”
They caution: “He is at risk of losing the election, and losing is something his narcissism cannot bear. Moreover, he has probably retained enough of his own reality testing to know that without the shield of the presidency, he may be called to account for any number of his crimes. Like many dictators under such circumstances, he may want to take the country, or the world, down with him. Prepare for a very dangerous time.”